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the yahoo of k2b

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In the early days of the web, there was the browser and the server, and there wasn't much else. A handful of people had websites up and running. How did people with browsers find these websites? Their browsers start up pointing at a "home page", for example, the CERN WWW page or the NSCA page. These pages kept a list of all of the available websites, and new sites were being added each day. Of course, in the early days, this list was short (less than 100 sites) and a manageable (people could email the CERN webmaster to have their site added to the list).

People would start up their web browsers to see what was new on the web, and they would find out instantly from their home page.

In kast, this default "home page" functionality can be emulated through recommendations. Every kast node ships pre-subscribed to k2b_recommend, and we can list new channels there as we learn about them.

Of course, as the web grew, the central home page with a list of all available web pages became impractical. Companies like Yahoo sprang up and categorized the web hierarchically. These categorized indices became known as "portals", since many people would use them to enter the web at the beginning of a search session. Indeed, many people changed their default home page from NSCA or Netscape to a portal like Yahoo.

In kast, people can establish hierarchical channel categorizations by using recommendation channels that recommend other recommendation channels. For example, k2b_recommend can recommend the following recommendation sub-channels:

  • k2b_recommend_music
  • k2b_recommend_movies
  • k2b_recommend_software
  • k2b_recommend_artwork

Further down the tree, k2b_recommend_music can recommend the following sub-sub-channels:

  • k2b_recommend_punk
  • k2b_recommend_techno
  • k2b_recommend_rap

Finally, k2b_recommend_techno can recommend true content channels, like:

  • basement beats
  • alien protocol
  • afx's master plan

Using the web itself, Yahoo was able to build a trusted web content hierarchy, and using kast itself, someone else will be able to build a trusted k2b content hierarchy. By using recommendations to do this, we leverage digital signatures and the web of trust to control what we are recommending.

The question is, who will be the next-generation Yahoo?

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Edited February 19, 2003 7:48 pm (diff)